Wednesday, April 23

New York Bound, New Home Update

Early tomorrow morning I fly to New York to attend the Biglari Holdings shareholder meeting.  This will be my first time attending.  The CEO of the company reminds me of a young Warren Buffett and I would like to think I'm an early investor in what may become a profitable venture.  I haven't been to New York since my dad took us when I was twelve.  I'm not looking forward to figuring out the public transit system, but taking public transportation from the airport costs $2.50 versus about $50 for a taxi.

After the meeting I am shopping a hotel in Times Square.  Since my dinner and breakfast the next morning will be covered it makes this a frugal trip.

I haven't closed on the new house yet.  The agent has had me sign several revisions to the contract.  I haven't made any special requests; I suspect I am dealing with an inexperienced agent.  I'm not too bothered by any delays this causes:  we are flying to Omaha next Friday for the Berkshire Hathaway meeting and then to Las Vegas on the 10th so I won't have much time to work on the property until the end of May.

Saturday, April 12

Buying a House

The Courtyard inside Bonnet House
We returned home from Miami late Thursday evening.  On Thursday we visited the Bonnet House gardens in Fort Lauderdale.  I really like that place.  It is the one undeveloped piece of beachfront land between Miami and Palm Beach.  What I most like is the courtyard.  Since it is surrounded by the house, it is a private oasis.

This brings me to a big update:  I've been quietly shopping for houses, and it looks like I finally had an offer accepted.  The property is an ugly foreclosure that needs significant repairs and updating.  Some of the walls and ceilings are missing insulation and Sheetrock from a previous leak, and all the floors are bare except the tiles in the kitchen.  The plan is to move there this summer as soon as I get a couple bedrooms ready to be occupied.  The other work in the house can be done after I get moved in.  My master plan includes creating a backyard oasis inspired by the Bonnet House.

So far April has been a steady month for mystery shopping, hospitality and auditing work.  The next several days I will be working on a business census that entails visiting every business within a designated census area.  I also have several gas stations to shop and a handful of restaurants and grocery stores lined up.